Three New 3D Printing Projects from ASTM Funded by America Makes

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As part of its mission to advance the adoption of additive manufacturing (AM), key standards organization ASTM International’s ASTM Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE) is launching three new projects with America Makes, the United States’ national accelerator for 3D printing. Totaling over $1 million in combined efforts, these projects will address critical aspects of the AM industry, including training, inspection, qualification approaches, and in-process monitoring.

Throughout the last three years, AM CoE has worked to accelerate AM adoption by supporting research, working to close gaps in standards, developing several key training programs, and providing advisory services. The three new projects funded by America Makes will become an integral part of the industrialization of AM globally.

ASTM AM Center of Excellence

ASTM AM Center of Excellence. Image courtesy of ASTM.

One of the collaborations will be led by the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at Penn State University and will develop and assess methods for mitigating defects in metal powder bed fusion, once they are detected by in-process monitoring tools. Titled “Open Framework for Real-Time Control and Mitigation of Defects in Metal Powder Bed Fusion (OFF-RAMP),” the project proposed by ARL’s Head of Process Physics, Analytics, and Engineering Department, Abdalla Nassar, will include other team members, like 3D printing pioneer 3D Systems and Ohio-based company Applied Optimization, which focuses on mathematical modeling for materials science and space science, specifically for AM.

A second collaboration overseen by ASTM’s AM CoE and supported by laser powder bed fusion process developer Castheon, will create an introductory course on quality assurance and inspection for AM. Dubbed “Introductory Inspection and Quality Assurance of Additive Manufacturing using the AMES Test Artifact,” the course will be intended for audiences ranging from beginners to quality assurance (QA) or AM professionals who wish to expand their existing knowledge.

Finally, the last project announced by America Makes will see dozens of aerospace and defense corporations involved to develop definitions, best practices, and guidance to enable the application of a part family framework for qualification and certification (Q&C), enabling similar parts to be qualified using shared/common material data and reducing both time and cost. Titled “Best Practices for Additive Manufacturing Part Families Relating to Product Qualification & Certification,” the project will be carried out by companies like Boeing, Airbus, Raytheon Technologies, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin, and will be supported by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NASA.

User removing a 3D printed part from a machine.

Safety standards are catching up to AM. Image courtesy of ASTM International.

By addressing standardization gaps in the AM industry, these three new projects are intended to rapidly generate data and insights needed by the community. This falls in line with the roadmap established by the AM CoE, which aims to accelerate the development and adoption of robust, game-changing technologies by supporting standardization, developing training and certification programs, and providing market intelligence and advisory services.

Commenting on the relevance of the partnerships, ASTM International’s director of global AM programs Mohsen Seifi said, “we are proud to be selected to launch these projects that will train the AM industry’s workforce and equip them with new tools to solve quality and inspection problems. America Makes has been a key contributor in the development and maturation of AM technologies, with key insight on the important role standardization and training plays in further adoption and industrialization of additive manufacturing.”

This is not the first time that ASTM’s AM CoE has partnered with America Makes. In 2019, ASTM became the first standards development organization to receive an award from the Youngstown, Ohio organization to help address the lack of consensus on best practices and standards for materials handling and post-processing in using Selective Laser Melting (SLM) to make critical parts.

One year later, the duo teamed up to compile and release a strategic guide for AM data that identifies gaps, challenges, solutions, and action plans. Published by ASTM International’s AM CoE, the guide consists of content derived from a workshop on AM data management hosted by ASTM International and America Makes.

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